Buying & Selling a Property in Malta
From property search to turning the key, closing the deal on your new home can be quick and easy.
Buying a home could well be the greatest investment of your life. Whether you are a first-time buyer or making your way up the property ladder, it will not happen overnight. Yet, closing on a home need not take forever.
Depending on your personal circumstances and what you are looking for, your RE/MAX agent can guide you towards turning your dream home into a reality – fast.
Here are the typical steps to closing on a property deal in Malta, to help you estimate how long it might take to transform from house-hunter into homeowner.
Confirm your budget
Before even browsing the property listings, your first step is to check your finances. Only by establishing your personal budget for your home – and gauging if you will need to take out a loan – will you know what property types you can afford. There is no point wasting time viewing properties that exceed your means.
A meeting with your bank will help you determine your home budget, which is usually set based on your salary or combined income if you are purchasing as a couple. You will need to factor in other expenses such as architect or notary fees, permits or life insurance costs, bank charges, stamp duty, furnishing or refurbishment costs, as well as utilities and general maintenance once you have moved in.
Along with your RE/MAX agent, your bank can help you work out your monthly mortgage repayments to ensure that you can comfortably afford them, long-term – while leaving you enough disposable income to live on.
Write your property wish list
You may dream of a certain kind of home, but is that really the home you need?
Yes, you may be longing for a seafront villa with multiple bedrooms, but to maintain your lifestyle you might need a smaller townhouse in a certain location to ease your daily work commute.
The best way to separate head from heart on this is to write a list of your wishes for your new home, including items such as number of bedrooms or outdoor space, and another with your needs, with items such as your budget or proximity to schools. Now compare the two; is there anything in common? What are the absolute dealbreakers on each?
Knowing exactly what you are looking for in your new home could save you months of time and effort during your property search.
Start your search
Most house-hunters begin the homebuying process with a search. Yet, on our list it is step three since, if you have completed steps one and two, your search should be more straightforward – and faster.
Here you can make the most of the market-leading expertise and resources of your RE/MAX agent, who is updated with the latest listings and trained to help you find the right property for you.
Once you have narrowed it down, consider finer details such as location, parking, or accessibility of local amenities. Having a shortlist of this kind when you are viewing each property allows you to visualise living in it, safe in the knowledge that it is a practical fit for your needs.
Make an offer
Now that you have decided on the ideal property, it is time to make an offer.
Here too, your RE/MAX agent is trained in the art of price negotiation, so they can guide you on your initial offer figure, being mindful of your budget. They will also help you establish how long the property has been on the market, the purchase price of similar properties locally, and if there are any other offers you are competing against.
How long this might take depends on factors such as the eagerness of the seller to close the deal, or how flexible they are regarding price.
Sign the Promise of Sale
Once you and the seller have agreed on the purchase price, a date is set to sign a ‘Promise of Sale’ or ‘Preliminary Agreement’, known in Malta as a ‘Konvenju’.
This contract sets out in writing the mutually agreed sale terms between buyer and seller and includes a specific date when you will meet again to sign the contract. The period between the Promise of Sale and the official contract can typically be around 12 weeks, during which time the particulars of the property will be checked by the relevant experts, as overseen by a notary.
The final contract will only be signed on the stipulated date if all the checks are confirmed in that time, and there are no outstanding issues to address – so if you are hoping for a speedy closure, consider selecting a property that has minimal potential issues.
Signing the contract
At last, it is time to sign on the dotted line. If the process has gone smoothly until this point, then this final step towards becoming a homeowner could only take a morning.
Other than you, the meeting to sign the final contract will also include the seller, your RE/MAX agent, a notary and possibly a representative of your bank if you are taking out a loan. Here you will complete the final paperwork and settle any outstanding balances such as notary fees, stamp duty and your deposit.
Then once the contract is registered with the Public Registry by the notary within 15 days of that date, the keys to your new home are officially yours!
The RE/MAX takeaway
Your RE/MAX agent can guide you through every step of the process of buying a new home. Get in touch today at www.remax-malta.com.